Leaving Spokane we headed toward Clark Fork, Idaho to visit with an old friend, Jeanne and her husband. Travel was easy and upon leaving Spokane we re-entered the mountains and beautiful scenery. When we stopped at the Idaho welcome center in Coeur d'Alene, we discovered that there was a Winery just down the road.. right on our way, so of course we stopped and sampled the wines. Who knew that Idaho wine could be so good. A couple of bottles have been packed away and are traveling nicely.
Our next stop was at Sandpoint at a marina on Lake Pend Oreille where we found a picnic table and made lunch. It was interesting watching the boats as trains went by on a nearby bridge over the water. A short drive late and we were enter the small town of Clark Fork. We stayed at the Clark Fork Lodge and it get a very high recommendation - clean and friendly, although there is no cell service at all in Clark Fork. It was only a couple of blocks from the lodge to Jeanie’s house.
Jeanie was our landlord for three years in our first apartment in Rehoboth, 1971 - 1973. I think the last time we saw her must have been in the 1980’s but have always maintained contact. Jeannie and her husband Pete have been here in Clark Fork for over 25 years and have a bow shop where Pete sells and customizes bows and makes up arrows and such. Jeannie and Pete are avid hunters, and both are Idaho state champions. The house and shop are full of trophies, and lots of heads of deer, elk, pronghorn, moose antlers, bear skins, pheasants among other things. Pictures of the wolves they have shot and the mountain lions and on and on are prized possessions. We had a wonderful chicken supper with Jeannie and Pete before making our way back to the lodge. Up early the next day we enjoyed our coffee with a glorious sunrise and went back to Jeannie and Pete’s for breakfast and more stories before getting on the road.
We decided to head to Great Falls, Montana, the land of Lewis and Clark. It was a long day of driving and the landscape just kept changing. What beautiful country this is. We stopped several times just to take in the beauty. We drove a dirt road up a mountainside, filled with switchbacks and at times it felt as though we were hanging on the edge. At the summit we found a picnic table for lunch, the view was spectacular. On the way back down a deer was walking down the road and approached the car before dashing off into the woods, and a short while later we saw a coyote running up the road… lots of critters in these woods. Shortly after we left this mountain we crossed the continental divide at Rogers Pass and are now back in the Mississippi watershed. Shortly after that the mountains were left behind and we entered rolling grasslands once again. Beautiful and stark and Montana really is ‘the big sky country’.